Overweight and obesity are labels for weight ranges that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. The terms also identify ranges of weight that have shown could increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.
The overweight epidemic is estimated to have afflicted some 1.7 billion people world-wide. Approximately 2/3 of the United States population are overweight (BMI =25) and almost half of this group are obese (BMI =30). About 5% of the U.S. population is morbidly obese (BMI =40 or BMI=35 in association with significant co-morbidities).1 Among children aged 6 through 19 (1992-2002), 31% were at risk for becoming overweight and 16.0% were overweight.2 There is a rise in the prevalence of obesity as well as obesity related co-morbidities that are responsible for more than 2.5 million deaths annually through out the world.1
For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the "body mass index" (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.
The reasons for being overweight or obese are multifactorial and may include genetics, environmental influences, behaviour (caloric intake and physical activity) and metabolism.
A comprehensive and integrated solution taking this all into account is the best approach.
We provide a comprehensive solution to weight management which includes counseling our patients on nutritional, behavioural and medical solutions as well as working together with the patient to determine what is best for you the individual.
1. Buchwald et al. Bariatric Surgery A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 2004; 292: 1724-1737.
2. Hedley AA et al. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among US children, adolescents, and adults. JAMA 2004; 291:2847-2850.